Public Space Soundscapes (08-12-19)

Bild and colleagues studied responses to soundscapes in public spaces.  They determined via data collected in Amsterdam that “solitary and socially interactive respondents [people in the public spaces investigated] evaluate their soundscapes differently. . . . The sounds of people were considered as the main source of both disruption and stimulation for both groups; while conversations and the sounds of others in general were referred to as stimulating, loud conversations and children crying were disrupting. Surprisingly, the sounds of traffic were not mentioned as a main source of disruption; unsurprisingly, ‘natural’ sounds were mentioned as a main source of stimulation (with only socially interactive respondents mentioning birds among stimulating sources). . . . we asked users to evaluate their soundscapes from three perspectives: in terms of disruption, stimulation and overall suitability. . . . Stimulation is a common term. . . we use it as an active verb (‘to stimulate’). . .  we selected “to disrupt” as an antonym for ‘stimulate.’”

Edda Bild, Karin Pfeffer, Matt Coler, Ori Rubin, and Luca Bertolini. 2019.  “Public Space Users’ Soundscape Evaluations in Relation to Their Activities.  An Amsterdam-Based Study.” Frontiers in Psychology,